Saturday, 21 December 2013

Wrapping Presents for Christmas

String and wrapping paper
I have a confession to make... I am a nerd for stationary and all things paper related. And I LOVE wrapping presents. Seriously. Love it. So since Christmas is right around the corner I thought I'd share some of my own wrapping ideas. All of my ideas are simple and can be done by anyone with just wrapping paper, string, ribbon, a gold marker and a few stamps. Enjoy!
Wrapping paper, ribbon, velvet leaf
Box, gold string, velvet leaf and stamps
Wrapping paper and extra thick jute string (also used serrated scissors for the strip of wrapping paper)
Brown paper bag, tissue paper, stamps and polka dot washi tape
Wrapping paper with hand written message in gold marker and ribbon

I hand made this envelope (a small one for a gift card) using this template, wrapping paper, stamps, a gold marker, polka dot washi tape and serrated scissors. How much more fun is this than your standard gift card envelopes???
Wrapping paper, ribbon and string
I hope this gives you some ideas and helps you enjoy the wrapping process as much as I do! Happy holidays everyone!

Friday, 18 October 2013

Loveable Livable Trends: Kilims

As we enter a new season and the colder winds start blowing, we begin to think about preparing for winter. I know, I know, no one wants to talk about winter yet, and neither do I. So instead lets talk about the sudden urge we are all feeling to get cozy. In our wardrobes the knits, boots, and jackets are coming out and in our homes the throws, pillows and rugs are suddenly welcome additions. So in the spirit of the new season I'm going to share with you one of my very favorite trends: kilims.
Kilims are flat-woven tapestry style rugs and pillows that generally known to be Turkish, but can actually be from a wide range of regions and local styles from Turkey to Pakistan. Known for their colour and beautifully woven patterns this is a trend that isn't going anywhere anytime soon. I love, love, love them!
Generally, kilim rugs are not super expensive, although they are increasing in popularity and therefore demand. They range in price depending on their authenticity and age, antique or handwoven kilims can become quite pricey while big-box knock offs are usually the cheaper choice of the rug world.
A kilim in the process of being handwoven
Black and White Wool Kilim
I don't currently have any rugs in my house, but am looking forward to changing that this winter. I love the way a beautiful rug both unifies and defines a space. A colourful rug like a kilim gives you so many colour options to draw upon for your space. And a large area rug helps you to define a specific space, especially in an open concept house like mine. It subtly tells you this is the living room and that is the dining space, etc, etc.

One general rule of thumb is that, in a living room for example, your area rug should touch or slightly go under the front legs of every chair/couch in the room. And if you have say an entertainment unit on the opposite wall from the couch, the rug should be big enough to almost touch it (at the very least). This time the touch rule doesn't necessarily have to apply. But it should be close enough that it still visually reads as part of the space. This tip helps you avoid having an awkwardly proportioned room. Nothing can make a space feel more off than badly scaled pieces such as a big sectional and an itty bitty rug. However, I will give you one caveat: once you know the rules, all rules are meant to be broken! For example, if your area rug doesn't quite reach the edges of all the furniture, but you feel that it still visually unifies the space, then follow your instincts and keep it! ( Just make sure you actually think this and aren't just fooling yourself because you "just bought this rug damn it!")

One last tip: always measure first! I learned this tip recently while shopping for rug. Rugs always look ginormous hanging up on a wall, but won't necessarily be the right size for your space. D'oh! So yeah, measure first!
Clockwise from top left: Kilim Floor Cushions; Throw PillowsColourful Diamond Kilim; Kilim Thow Pillows; Red Kilim
Beautiful Red Kilim

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo by Lindsey Dolter
Here in Canada tomorrow is Thanksgiving! That means family time, turkey and pumpkin pie! I just want to take a moment to give thanks for all the wonderful people in my life: my family and my friends mean the world to me and I am SO lucky to have them in my life. I'm not a person who likes to ask for or receive help, but despite my tendencies you've found ways to help me anyway. I'll admit I've needed you guys, especially over this past year. And you have been there for me in so many ways. I only hope one day I get the opportunity to return the favour. I love you all and wish you the very best Thanksgiving!
Photo by Lindsey Dolter
Because I love good quotes, here's one from Alice Walker: " 'Thank you' is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding."
Photo by Ryley Dolter                                    
Hey Lani, do you remember this photo shoot? Haha!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Places & Spaces: The Star Cafe & Grill

This post is for my local followers because today I'm writing about a hidden gem of a cafe in small town Saskatchewan. Maple Creek is a beautiful little town in the South West corner of our province and is the gateway to the wild and breathtaking Cypress Hills Inter Provincial Park. It is also home to The Star Cafe and Grill. If your not from Saskatchewan you may not realize what a rare find this cafe truly is. It's not just "pretty good for a small town" - as I've heard lots of local fair described. The atmosphere and the culinary delights would give any high end restaurant in Regina or Saskatoon (or any other metropolis for that matter) a run for their money.   
As a designer, the thing I appreciate the most about this little establishment is the way it's heritage has been lovingly and carefully restored to its former glory. There is not a thing I would have done differently. (I hope the owners read this and take it for the compliment it is, because I almost never enter a space without thinking about what I would do to improve it.) From the original floors and tongue and groove ceilings and walls, to the newly built wainscoting and bar that have been matched so handsomely to the style of the space (my compliments to whomever did the custom mill-work on this place). And that thick stone wall! It spans the entire back length of the cafe and is the focal point of the space. Our waitress told us that it was thought to have been the dividing wall between what was the original general store in the front and stables in the back. How cool is that?
A visit to Maple Creek or to Cypress Hill would be incomplete without a little detour to this unexpectedly culinary delight. Besides the decor, the menu is a list of well curated dishes that have been refined to perfection. Trust me! No one is paying me or has even asked me to write this article. It was simply one of those chance encounters that I am so glad I didn't miss out on and I don't want you to either!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Places & Spaces: My Bathroom

It has been a BUSY few months for Ryley and I. We are getting ready to sell our house and thus, have been working like crazy on all those little things that need doing before putting it on the market. I have to say that we would never have gotten the amount of things done without the help of friends and family! Thank you guys!

Some of the renovations are recent and some have been done for a while, but I thought I would take this opportunity to share my home with you one room at a time. I've been taking photos for the listing, but also for the memories. It is bittersweet putting this house on the market since we have done a lot to it over the years and have so so so many memories here. Part of me doesn't want to leave this place!

So (since it was just cleaned) I thought I'd start this process by sharing pictures of my bathroom with you that my husband and his dad painstakingly tiled, dry-walled, painted, etc, etc, etc. Thank you Ryley and Larry, I love my bathroom!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

What is Done in Love, is Done Well

To my regular readers: I'm sorry. It's been a while since I've posted anything on my blog. I haven't been inspired by anything in the design world. Normally I would just push through and make myself write something or find a way to get inspired. The stubborn side of me would kick in and I would just make it happen, will it into being, power through. But this time I just couldn't.

Don't misunderstand me, I love this blog. I love everything about it. I love design. I love writing about design. I love taking or find beautiful images of design and then sharing them with you. But lately its just been difficult.

So instead I'm going to share not a design, but a quote I came across today that was so inspiring, I've made it my new motto:

"If only we try to live sincerely, it will go well with us, even though we are certain to experience real sorrow, and great disappointments, and also will probably commit great faults and do wrong things, but it certainly is true, that it is better to be high-spirited, even though one makes more mistakes, than to be narrow-minded and all too prudent. It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love, is well done."

 Vincent van Gogh

Fuck, I love this quote! It reminds me to be open and to love openly, freely and often. Fall in love with old friends, new friends, lovers, life and nature as much as you can. Be love. Be open to others who are different than you. Someone from a different religion might teach you something about God. Someone from a different culture might show you something about life. Sure you'll get hurt sometimes, yes there will be rejection. But how rewarding to live this way? It's worth the pain. It's worth the rejection. It's so much better then living a life closed minded and cynical. Let your vulnerability be your ultimate strength!

Monday, 15 July 2013

DIY: Succulent Mini Garden

Ever since I received this large, round, acid green bowl as a gift from a dear friend I've thought about how good it would look as a planter for hens and chicks as well as other succulents. But for some reason never got around to making this idea into a reality. I don't know why, because this is one DIY project that is so simple to do, yet so fun and rewarding! So about a month ago I finally got down to business...
I love succulents because they are so easy to care for and require very little watering or other maintenance. Come autumn, I will bring it inside and attempt to keep it alive all winter long.
All you need for this project is a wide mouthed, shallow container, pebbles, soil and succulents. The pebbles are for the bottom of the pot to provide for drainage so the roots don't get root rot (this step is only necessary if your container does not have a hole in the bottom). Next fill your pot about 3/4 full of soil and place the succulents in the pot. This is the time to arrange and rearrange the plants into a pretty visual formation. I like to make sure I have a combination of sculptural plants with sprawling plants that can be planted near the edge so that as they grow they cascade over the edge. Lastly, fill in any gaps between plants with soil. And voila! You have yourself a succulent mini garden!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Places & Spaces: The Happy Camper

Cutesy Camper
It's summer (yay!), and with summer comes thoughts of getting away, camping, cottages and the great outdoors. My husband and I recently had the opportunity to get away for a couple of days thanks to friends who lent us use of their lovely little cabin on a lake, and it got me thinking about finding ways to make our own little getaway. We are far from being able to purchase our own cabin, but camper? Maybe.... How fun would it be to buy and renovate a little vintage camper or RV? While we are still far from making such a decision I thought it would be enjoyable to research vintage renovated campers and share my findings with you.

Red & White Delight
What a little blue paint can do

Modern and Minimal
Eclectic Camper
Tonke Camper

Modern Airstream

Loving this cozy white camper
Adorable Hugo Camper

Colourful Camper

Happy Camper
Pretty in Pink
Seriously, how much do you love these little beauties? Way cuter and way more personality than the ones you buy straight off the production line with their notoriously ugly upholstery. So fun, so summer. Makes me want to get back out into nature again!

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Currently Loving: Artist Andrew Salgado

I recently came across a new artist I had never heard of before and guess what? He is from my home town of Regina, Saskatchewan! Currently based out of London, England this super talented up and comer is creating such beautiful and original work that I just had to share it will all of you. Abstract portraits have become one of my very favorite styles of paintings, it just adds so much more depth and emotion to the piece than a standard portrait. To me you actually end up seeing more of the real person under the mask of the exterior and you see more of the artist and his interpretation of his subjects emotional state and essence as well.

I give you Andrew Salgado!
 Wouldn't you love a portrait done by this guy? I know I would!